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Met David Golds from Windows Mobile this morning

The job title on the business card of David Golds is:

Product Unit Manager, Windows Live for Windows Mobile, Microsoft

… and that’s immediately attention-getting for me.

I’ve been a Windows Mobile user for donkey’s years.

Ever since you had to have the patience of a demigod to hook up your Compaq iPaq and your Sony Ericsson T68i via infrared GPRS at 9.6k/sec to check emails, I’ve been a Windows Mobile user. Actually, it was before that. I had one of the first generation Compaq iPaq things. All it did was contacts, calendar and, er, a few other semi useful applications.

Was it Windows Mobile? No! Windows CE! That was it. So I’ve spent thousands. Thousands upon thousands on Windows Mobile devices and associated services.

I remember the day I was in a group meeting with my iPaq and my T68i, trying, serrupticiously, to check my email. It was one of those project meetings that, if you’ve ever been in a media-cum-proper-business, you’ll have had. 20 people around the table at 8am in the morning on a sodding Monday. The stressed project manager insists *everyone* turns up. Our service contract with his company says that I’m charged at £375 per hour out of office hours (office hours are 9-5pm) so that suits me fine. Although it’s still an arse. During the 2 hour meeting, only five people say anything more than a sentence. At the end of the meeting, the even-more-stressed project manager does a quick ‘everything ok with your role’ question to everyone. At the appointed time, I look up and say ‘Yes’ and think, ‘This company’s going to run out of money soon.’

The company did, actually, run out of money. We got paid all our invoices though. Anyway, that is one of the most memorable times where I was DELIGHTED that my iPaq and T68i performed to spec. I was able to check my 5 emails on the device during the 2-hour bore-session and … I shit ye not, I was able to use MSN Messenger to talk to the office. Yes it was hamster-speed, but it was still a brilliant proof of concept. And hugely entertaining for me as a geek.

6 months after that meeting, o2 brought out their XDA plan. I think it had 2 or 3 meg inclusive. I thought that was a brilliant deal! And the device itself, well, it was one of the best on the market at that point. Blackberries hadn’t really hit the UK.

I relied on Windows Mobile A LOT.

I’ve been a vocal chappy when it comes to Windows Mobile of late — words to the effect of ‘you can’t really use multiple apps at the same time, you need to use everything sequentially,’ and so on. For a long time, no one was listening. Or, frankly, no one cared.

I used to accost people sporting Windows Mobile devices at events and demand why they were even bothering. They’d tell me it was ‘fine’ and then I’d spend the next 10 minutes converting them from a reasonably happy user to an annoyed, pissed-off customer, by getting them to run Windows Messenger, Contacts, Send/Receive Email, Media Player and try and phone someone — all at the same time. The moment an hour glass thingy appears, I typically explode.

So it was with some delight in Las Vegas that I witnessed the new 6.1 update on a Samsung BlackJack II. A new interface. Whizzy. Literally ‘whizzy’. Nice animation. It looked good. Stuff worked pretty nicely. Less screw-ups. All in all, rather usable. So usable, that I actually adopted the device as a primary handset for the 2 weeks or so I was on the West Coast.

– Here is me at CTIA one morning saying that Windows Mobile 6.1 will probably be rubbish.
– Fast forward a few hours and here I am loving it.

Which brings me to David Golds. He’s big into internet-oriented communication. Big time. Think inbox, think contacts sync, IM, data sync, social networking, photo sharing and so on. That’s his bag. I’m looking forward to meeting and chatting. There’s no agenda per se and I don’t expect shocking Windows Mobile 7.0 news or the like.

If you’ve got a question for David, I’ll do my best to ask it. Mail it over. I’m ewan@smstextnews.com.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

8 replies on “Met David Golds from Windows Mobile this morning”

I remember almost the exact same experience, just swap the Compaq iPaq for a Palm m505! Ah the glory of a colour screen on both devices (I'd been using a Psion Series 5 previously!) This mobile computing lark seemed a bit of a novelty back then…

My question for David would be this. The Windows Mobile offering has very obviously been firmly aimed at Enterprise, with a fair amount of success, and quite a large market share in that segment.

Following the iPhone's success in the past year there have been a lot of hints that Microsoft are taking Windows Mobile further and further into the consumer space (refreshed Win Mob 6.1, purchase of Danger, working with HTC to release sexier devices etc).

Is it likely that there will be quite a noticeable divergence between Microsoft's consumer and enterprise offerings that goes beyond just the hardware? Will we see a more consumer friendly version of Windows Mobile (focused on Hotmail, social network services and features) and a separate enterprise range that emphasises security and integration with enterprise IT services?

Jonmul, I put your question to David and here is his answer:

“Obviously Windows Live for Windows Mobile is the team I'm working in and
our users are typically consumers, or the consumer part of an business
user's day. The team I'm in has grown quite a lot last year — something
like 8-fold in size.

Obviously the acquisition of danger doesn't come across as an enterprise
acquisition. You've seen a lot on the enterprise side from Microsoft, but
you can see evidence here of more resources going into consumer scenarios.”

Interesting…

If you're still with David I've just thought of a second question. Is he (or his team) working with Live Mesh at the moment and how soon can we expect to see Live Mesh available on devices in the UK?

Jonmul, I put your question to David and here is his answer:

“Obviously Windows Live for Windows Mobile is the team I'm working in and
our users are typically consumers, or the consumer part of an business
user's day. The team I'm in has grown quite a lot last year — something
like 8-fold in size.

Obviously the acquisition of danger doesn't come across as an enterprise
acquisition. You've seen a lot on the enterprise side from Microsoft, but
you can see evidence here of more resources going into consumer scenarios.”

Interesting…

If you're still with David I've just thought of a second question. Is he (or his team) working with Live Mesh at the moment and how soon can we expect to see Live Mesh available on devices in the UK?

I remember almost the exact same experience, just swap the Compaq iPaq for a Palm m505! Ah the glory of a colour screen on both devices (I'd been using a Psion Series 5 previously!) This mobile computing lark seemed a bit of a novelty back then…

My question for David would be this. The Windows Mobile offering has very obviously been firmly aimed at Enterprise, with a fair amount of success, and quite a large market share in that segment.

Following the iPhone's success in the past year there have been a lot of hints that Microsoft are taking Windows Mobile further and further into the consumer space (refreshed Win Mob 6.1, purchase of Danger, working with HTC to release sexier devices etc).

Is it likely that there will be quite a noticeable divergence between Microsoft's consumer and enterprise offerings that goes beyond just the hardware? Will we see a more consumer friendly version of Windows Mobile (focused on Hotmail, social network services and features) and a separate enterprise range that emphasises security and integration with enterprise IT services?

Jonmul, I put your question to David and here is his answer:

“Obviously Windows Live for Windows Mobile is the team I'm working in and
our users are typically consumers, or the consumer part of an business
user's day. The team I'm in has grown quite a lot last year — something
like 8-fold in size.

Obviously the acquisition of danger doesn't come across as an enterprise
acquisition. You've seen a lot on the enterprise side from Microsoft, but
you can see evidence here of more resources going into consumer scenarios.”

Interesting…

If you're still with David I've just thought of a second question. Is he (or his team) working with Live Mesh at the moment and how soon can we expect to see Live Mesh available on devices in the UK?

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